We’re used to ignoring minor health issues and very few of us actually visit a doctor if we suffer from a bout of fatigue or discover a mysterious pimple on our bodies. Surprisingly, according to statistics, women are more attentive to their health than men are. They seek medical advice more often even if their symptoms seem insignificant or if it’s a disease is in its beginning stage, which makes it easier to cure the ailment. Men, on the other hand, are prone to assume that minor health issues will vanish after some time without the help of a doctor.
we don’t want to make you feel scared about your health, but we want to explain why ignoring small ailments can be dangerous, even if they don’t seem like a big deal.
1. You often get tired — especially after a minor cold — and it’s difficult to breathe.
It’s believed that the main symptoms of pneumonia are a long-lasting cough and fever. However, hidden pneumonia is also an enemy to your health, and unfortunately, is not as rare as you’d think. If you recently had a cold and still have difficulties breathing, especially after non-intensive workouts, or you feel extremely tired after a working day, it can be a sign of hidden pneumonia. There can be other symptoms too, such as whistling while exhaling and inhaling, irritability, and pallor. Visiting a doctor would be wise in this case.
2. There is a bump under your skin located anywhere on the body.
Instructions on self-checking for signs of oncological dangers usually say to palpate (or examine) and check for lumps in certain places such as the breasts and groin.
However, the location of these bumps of different etiology could be anywhere on the body. They could turn out to be lipomas or atheromas (varieties of wens or cysts) that are relatively harmless but they could also be symptoms of more serious diseases. The doctor you should visit first is a dermatologist.
3. You have excessive hair loss.
Undoubtedly, the endocrine system affects all processes that occur in the body. That’s why it’s important to monitor your thyroid health condition. One of the signs that there is something wrong with your hormones is sudden hair loss or a change in the hair’s structure.
Hair cells are the “quickest” in our bodies to duplicate, which is why hormonal changes affect them first and lead to the slowing down of hair growth, hair thinning, hair weakening and eventually, hair loss. If you have irritability and fatigue, weight changes and irregular menstruation cycles in addition to hair loss; it’s a sign that you should probably visit an endocrinologist rather than a trichologist.
4. Shortness of breath that appears suddenly
People suffering from chronic diseases associated with the respiratory system usually know the reasons for their shortness of breath.
But what do you do when dyspnea starts suddenly and without any reason? Doctors name 2 widespread reasons: acid reflux and heart problems. Acid reflux is when the contents of the stomach get into the esophagus and it’s not always manifested by heartburn and discomfort in the stomach. A shortness of breath especially after having a meal can also be a symptom of this issue. Moreover, the shortness of breath can be a sign of heart failure too. Therefore, if you’ve had several attacks of dyspnea, you’d better explore things further with your doctor.
5. You have painful periods.
Gynecologists say that very painful menstruation is a normal thing for young girls because their cycle is just starting to develop. But if you suffer from severe pain during menstruation in adulthood, it’s better to visit a gynecologist to exclude endometriosis — the reason for many issues with the reproductive system.
With endometriosis, the tissue that usually covers the uterus from inside extends beyond it and can grow in places where it shouldn’t like on the peritoneum, ovaries, and intestines. When a woman with this condition menstruates, these “outgrown” fragments behave the same way they would inside the uterus. They increase in size, then some of them get rejected during menstruation. These mini-processes in unnecessary places cause incredible pain.
6. Your kid sleeps badly and is often irritable.
Unfortunately, very often kids can’t say what’s wrong with them which is why parents need to be able to read signs and diagnose some health issues indirectly. A consistent bad mood in the mornings, for example, might be a symptom of pinworms — “harmless” helminths that are specific to children.
Irritability and bad moods in the morning are due to the night activity of helminths which deprives a child of adequate sleep. Curiously enough, the itchiness the issue causes doesn’t always appear instantly — the baby can simply feel some discomfort without being able to explain it.
7. Throat inflammation more than 2 times a year
When getting angina and tonsillitis quite often, your joints are subjected to unnecessary stress even if you don’t have obvious complications during the illness. All because angina and tonsillitis are streptococcal infections — and streptococci is one of the causative agents of rheumatism.
Joint diseases worsen the quality of life drastically and can cause a lot of harm to a person’s life.
We’re used to thinking that joint problems relate to just elderly people. But it’s not always true — even kids can have such issues. That’s why doctors remind us that if you’re prone to having angina quite often, get cold all the time, and feel a slight discomfort in your joints in the mornings, you should visit a rheumatologist. It might help to spot out a possible inflammatory issue and stop it on time.
8. The color of your skin has changed significantly — fully or locally.
Skin is the biggest organ of the human body and very often, skin problems that may seem cosmetic, speak about more serious malfunctions in the body.
You should visit a doctor if you get an unusual tinge of the skin. One of the first symptoms of having issues with the liver is a yellow tinge on the skin and a brownish pigmentation of the armpits. Skin yellowness can signal the damage of liver tissues or ducts, while the changed color of armpits signal about an iron overload.
9. It takes a lot of time for a small wound to heal.
Doctors keep reminding us about the necessity to monitor moles and other formations on the skin and to consult them if you find something unusual.
But few of us know that a skin wound that won’t heal is a manifestation of the type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. Men are prone to this type of oncological disease more than women. This disease is easily curable in its early stages.
Doctors recommend getting a consultation as early as possible. 6 weeks of having a wound that won’t heal is considered to be too long. Such wounds are especially dangerous in places where they are not noticeable at first glance (auricles, scalp) and they don’t always cause pain.
10. The pupil is dilated in any light.
Dilated pupils (mydriasis) together with other symptoms, can signal about infectious, neurological, and ophthalmologic diseases.
If there are other symptoms besides dilated pupils such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, impaired movement, or the decreased sensitivity of the limbs, then you should call an ambulance.
If dilated pupils are the only symptom, then consult a neurologist and oculist within the next 3 days. Diseases of the eyes that are indicated by the dilated pupils can lead to poor eyesight and even the loss of vision.
Are you aware of any other insignificant symptoms that we should feel alarmed about? Please let us know about them in the comments!
Illustrated by Oleg Guta for BrightSide.me